Good Old War

Despite being at shows five or six nights a week, I tend not to burn out from it because I never cover similar genres two nights in a row. I'€™ll go to a metal show to then interview Good Old War the next night when they were playing not their own songs but performing with their main collaborator Anthony Green of Circa Survive.

The boys have been dipping their hands into Anthony'€™s solo project from the beginning with his first record '€˜Avalon'€™ and the most recent record '€˜Beautiful Things'€™ as well as making their own new record '€˜Come Back As Rain'€™ which will be arriving on March 6th.

As well as consistently working on new music, the band has been touring and hopes to spend the rest of 2012 consistently doing so. Be it with Anthony as his live band or on their own headliner later this Spring playing some of the some rooms they just finished playing with Anthony. Considering Anthony just announced another round with The Dear Hunter in June, Good Old War is sure to be around a time or two more before the year comes to a close and I'€™ll see you there!

So obviously you'€™re out right now with Anthony who'€™s new record just came out yesterday. How has the tour been so far?
It'€™s been so good. We pretty much play the record out. All eleven songs. Shows have been really crazy.

Then you'€™ve played on both of his records. How did it first come about-being an ongoing collaboration?
The first thing we ever did as a band was open for him. Actually, the other two guys in the band were a band called '€˜Days Away'€™ and they were billed to be the opener on his tour and the band sort of crumbled, well I guess not crumbled, but they didn'€™t want to do what they had done before right up to that tour so they called me up and asked if I would do it and we were still doing acoustic versions of our songs. Anthony really liked it so by the end of the tour, we were playing songs together and the next week, he was like '€˜I'€™d love to have you on the record with me'€™ and it'€™s just been like that ever since. We'€™ve always been friends. Keith and Tim have been friends with them since forever. He'€™s just always been so supportive. Given us so many chances to open for him. The first long tour we did that was six weeks long was opening for him. So the first tour I ever did, my first like full on tour, and it was me getting to play our songs then playing for two hours a night. It was so much fun!

And then how did the record go this time around? Did the recording process change?
It was a lot different then the first one. We were really collaborative. The first one, we came in and it was already there. This one we sort of worked together. It was always easy but this time we had two stations set up. We like had a downstairs station for like midi stuff and keyboards, electronics and then upstairs all the set ups like drums, guitars so we had two sessions going on at the same time. Anthony was incredibly supportive. He just sort of gave us the demo'€™s and was like '€˜Do anything!'€™ We did! So there'€™s tons of guitars and tons of drums. We tried so many cool interesting ways of recording songs. No process was not allowed.
Oh really?
It was really good.
Really were able to put your hands in the pot.
Yeah he really let us try crazy things. We wanted to do things where no body would ever think '€˜That'€™s Good Old War'€™. We didn'€™t want to do anything anyone would expect from us. Anthony was so supportive and I think it'€™s just so incredible. He'€™s putting his name on it and he was so willing to let us try things. Came out to be one of my favorite records I'€™ve ever been a part of.

And then a little soft one. I see that you guys consistently tour. You'€™ve been steadily touring with your own project Good Old War, Anthony. What are three things you must have while on the road considering you'€™re on tour all the time?
Three things I must have? A band, obviously! I would actually take that one out. I must have a chance to get a place to sleep. It doesn'€™t have to be a bed necessarily. Must have you know my best friends and that'€™s a big part of it. Having the band be really getting along and being best friends and I think I just must have good, friendly vibes. These aren'€™t solid things but I think really the only things that it comes down to is people you can count on. That'€™s what touring'€˜s like. Being friends. Giving each other space but also just helping each other and being close.

Then we can separate this into two interviews since it is a Good Old War interview.
It'€™s okay, you can put it all together!
Okay, I wasn'€™t sure!
We have two records coming out!
That'€™s what I thought! So then the new one comes out in March.
March 6th!
Obviously that'€™s been a while in the making because you'€™ve been talking about it for a while. In terms of writing the record, how would you say it maybe compares and differs from the last one?
Oh, they'€™re so different! Which is really exciting because with Anthony'€™s record, what we did was at the same time but kind of separately. So with Anthony'€™s stuff, every January, we'€™ll go away to Avalon. We live in this house and we record. Stay for two weeks, three weeks, whatever we can make time for. Based on whatever schedules he and I have but with us, it'€™s very constant. So with our album, we did a lot of pre-production. We sat down for a month of just learning the songs, writing the songs, rearranging the songs with a producer and then we went to the studio to record it but this was in like a very professional studio in Omaha and we basically did all of our album in one chunk. We did have to go back and do a couple little things but it was for the most part done all at once and very live. Where as Anthony'€™s album isn'€™t done live at all. It'€™s very piece by piece. Trying things. Even some of the drum stuff was done one drum at a time which is kind of interesting. The guitars, everything like that. There'€™s tons of guitars, ukele and keyboards that we all just sort of stacked.

And then what would you say, I know you may not want to have the song titles out but-
Yeah, sure! I don'€™t mind talking about song titles.
So maybe what'€™s like the most familiar sounding song for Good Old War fans?
I think that'€™s interesting. I think the record its'€™ very much what we'€™ve done before but its'€™ better. Anybody who'€™s seen us live knows we'€™re much more upbeat. Sort of jump up and down. A good time kind of band. On the records, we hadn'€™t really given that out yet but now we'€™ve made a record that is bouncy. One song that we'€™ve been playing is '€œLoud Love'€ even though it'€™s just an acoustic. It'€™s very much us and I think our first single '€˜Calling Me Names'€™ is one of the most different songs we'€™ve ever done. Slick production but its'€™ still just us live. With a couple little things.

Then obviously, you guys are songwriters. You'€™ve been working on all these records. Did the writing process change for you on this record? Was it pretty similar to the past?
Yeah, it did change! With this one, Tim had a lot more of a hand 2/23/12in the writing when he hasn'€™t had as much when we started. He'€™s written parts of songs which is very important and we all got to sing a verse on one song which we'€™ve never done before.
You all sing individually?
Yeah individually sing one verse and we wrote our own verses too. Just been sort of giving each other a subject and being like '€˜Okay you write about this and this'€™ and we all came back and sing. Also, Keith started to write more in the process. We tried a lot of different processes this time where before, it would be a situation where some one would come in with a full song but this time it was very, very collaborative. We'€™re really starting to enjoy each others'€™ writing styles.

And then, it may be Anthony because you'€™ve doing it for so long, but who would be your dream person to work with if given the opportunity? To write with, to have produce?
I'€™ve always wanted to work with one who would be a dream. There'€™s Paul Simon because I think he works so hard on every song. Like you can hear that he wrote the song and edited the song. He really thought about every little detail and that'€™s something that I'€™m really into. We like to go back and fix it till it'€™s perfect and usually that happens on tour.

And then personally, what was your first CD or cassette that you ever bought as a kid and then the first concert you ever went to?
My first CD I ever bought, well, there wasn'€™t CD'€™s when I was a kid but my first tape-. Well, I guess there was but they weren'€™t really popular just yet. There were still tapes then. I think my first tape was Def Leoppard or Bobby Brown or maybe I bought them both at the same time. But then my first concert was him and I was ten and my dad took me.
Do you think any of those influenced you at all? Those experiences?
Bobby Brown? Oh yeah.
Bobby Brown? All about it! Both projects? Bobby Brown!
Yeah, exactly!

So obviously you have '€˜Beautiful Things'€™ which just came out. You have the Good Old War record coming out '€˜Come Back As Rain'€™. Two records coming out with in two months of each other. You are on the tour now with Anthony, you go right back on the road headlining with Good Old War. Is that just what 2012 is going to be for you? Touring?
2012 is going to be touring. Lots of touring. We will be every where man! We'€™re going to try to make ourselves a house hold name. Hopefully people will start to sing with us. Well, more and more people will keep singing with us.
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Down With Webster

Bands every day are talking about being '€œoversaturated'€ in the US touring wise! The Summer Set, a five time interview, is taking almost a year away from touring in their own country in 2012 because of it after consistently doing back to back tours but there are the handful of bands from other countries who are only dreaming of doing that. While they may have a huge following where they'€™re from, for them to come overseas is an insane challenge!

In this last month I talked to several british bands and one Canadian band called Down With Webster who despite touring with huge names like Cute Is What We Aim For and 3OH!3 have never had the chance to headline the states until this month to rooms alike to the ones they were playing four years ago in Canada. Despite the situation, the band couldn'€™t be happier to be playing in the states considering it'€™s a chance to really connect with their fans again on a more intimate level and test drive their material from their latest record that dropped in October. Read on for my exclusive with Pat and Cam from the band and be sure to catch them constantly on your radar here in the states!

Let'€™s start with your name and what you do!
Pat:I'€™m Pat and I play guitar.
Cam: I'€™m Cam and I rap.

Perfect! So a little soft one, obviously you guys tour a bunch, being in the middle of the Wintour. What are three things you must have on tour to survive?
Cam: Must haves on the road?
Must haves!
Pat: My Canada Goose jacket.
Cam: That'€™s pretty good!
Pat: To keep me warm.
Cam: I must have Red Bull. I drink it constantly. What else do I have to have? Nintendo 64 is a must. Went through tour last year with out it and it sucked (all laugh) so I brought it out on this one. Labtop, can'€™t go anywhere with out my labtop.
Pat: Starbucks Instant Coffee packets for me. That'€™s my Red Bull!
Cam: So basically, caffeine, video games, the internet.
Pat: And warmth!
Cam: Yeah, warmth is good!
Not like this?
Cam: No, this is fine.
Pat: This is actually really decent.
Cam: Well, we'€™ve been touring Canada. It'€™s a different kind of cold!
Pat: We'€™re going to Winnipeg on this tour that will be very cold.
That'€™s going to be a little rough for sure.
Cam: Yeah but it'€™s nice down here! I like it! I like the winter here. It'€™s more bearable.

Well then how is it? We actually interviewed you guys during the Cute Is What We Aim For tour which is such a long time ago.
Cam: Like almost two years? Wow.
Yeah it'€™s been a decent amount of time.
Cam: Yeah, it'€™s been a while!
So you guys don'€™t tour that much in the US just yet so how are these shows going?
Cam: Basically these shows are going better then I thought they would go considering the fact that we'€™ve never been down to the US on our own. We did that one thing with Cute as you said then we got to do a tour with 3OH!3 where we kind of did what they called their B markets. I guess just places that aren'€™t major cities so we got to do those two tours but this is the first time we'€™ve ever been down here on our own and so far it'€™s been awesome! People at every show that know the words. Kids are into it so our kind of plan in the near future is to be down here more often because we have to kind of wait for some one to want to take us on tour instead of doing it ourself. I think we'€™re more in the mindset now of doing what we did in Canada which was build it up by just playing and playing over and over and over again because I think we'€™re a band that has always relied on the fact that if we manage to get ten people to come to our show, next time it will be twenty. We'€™ve kind of worked like that.
Pat: And also it'€™s cool to gauge, when we play these smaller shows, where it'€™s really just us, to look out and see a group of strangers that you'€™ve never met before. Heard of your band virally or whatever who know the songs and know the people in the band. It'€™s crazy and it definitely shows us that we'€™re getting somewhere. You could always just open for a big band. Hop up on stage and they'€™re pumped to see their favorite band and they clap for you too. It'€™s really good to be able to gauge who'€™s coming out, why they'€™re coming.
Cam: It'€™s a lot more relaxed. I don'€™t feel a lot of pressure. Just hang at the show, chill, just talk to them. It'€™s more sane then having to play in like Toronto, Canada. So I enjoy it kind of because it'€™s how it used to be for us when we played shows in Canada.

Then you guys put out '€˜Time To Win: Volume 2'€™ since we last spoke.
Cam: Back in November, actually!
Yeah so how is that going over so far?
Cam: It'€™s been going over very well. It'€™s been great! We'€™re a few singles deep. Have a few videos and all those we'€™re all super proud of. One premiered today actually on Billboard.com. It went up earlier today, it was awesome! Yeah we'€™re just pumped to be playing new music. I feel like it'€™s definitely better then our last album. It'€™s an improvement and as long as we keep improving. I also just don'€™t like playing the same songs (all laugh). I mean we have so many songs that we were just sick of playing them over and over again so I'€™m glad we have this new thing and get to play a lot of the new stuff.

Then maybe if you were to compare this record to the last one, what would you say is the most familiar sounding song for past Down With Webster fans and maybe the most unfamiliar, like something new?
Cam: Well, there'€™s a couple songs that we play from the old album. We still play '€˜Woah, Is Me'€™, occasionally we'€™ll still play '€˜Your Man'€™. Just the songs that did really well on the last one and then as far as new stuff, we do pretty much try and play almost the entire new record. With the exception of a couple songs.
So it'€™s mostly the new record?
Cam: It'€™s mostly new and we throw in a couple of old favorites.

Then how would you say the US crowds compare, obviously with a different level of success in Canada. It'€™s probably much more intimate.
Cam: Totally! Well, first of all, like you said, it'€™s smaller. There'€™s less people here, less people know of us and we'€™re not as much of a big deal. We literally have never done an actual headliner or any sort of show so it'€™s starting from point zero. It'€™s a different thing but in terms of who the audience is and the way they react, I got to say it'€™s identical to Canada.
Really?
Pat: It'€™s like going back in time to like three or four years ago. Doing these smaller shows in small clubs. But people are freaking out! They'€™re really into it! Last night in New York was crazy.
Cam: If anything, when we go back to the old material, I feel like the kids here are actually going more crazy at our shows then they were four years ago in Canada.
Pat: Songs are better. We'€™re better live and it sounds better to us!

Then maybe as a band, you have toured the US before, but recently I did Marianas Trench where it was their first real US tour where they were opening for Simple Plan. And maybe Stereos, they'€™ve toured like once or twice here. Maybe what advice would you give to bands who have never done it before?
Pat: Just do it!
Cam: Just do it. Don'€™t wait to get on all the huge bills because at the end of the day, it might not be your fan base. It'€™s always a good experience to open for that kind of a band and learn from them but if you can'€™t get it, don'€™t sit around twiddling your thumbs. Get in a van and do it!
Pat: Agreed!
Cam: Agreed!

Then a little soft one for you guys! What was the first CD or cassette you ever bought as a kid as well as concert?
Pat: My first concert was Aerosmith.
Cam: My first concert was NOFX. I was like twelve.
Pat: My first actual compact disc was '€˜Twelve Inches of Snow'€™. Can'€™t believe I'€™m saying that. I don'€™t know if I bought it or some one bought it for me.
You bought it,it'€™s okay!
Pat: I played Frisbee with it.
Cam: I think the first one I ever bought myself might have been The Offspring.
Pat: Was it a tape though?
Cam: Yeah!
Pat: Okay that was my first tape. My first CD is equally embarrassing.
Cam: I bought Wu Tang'€™s '€˜36 Chambers'€™ on cassette tape.
Pat: With my own money, the first tape I actually bought was Soundgarden but my mom bought me corny crap before that. Like '€˜Twelve Inches of Snow'€™. That was a birthday gift some one gave to me. It was like my first CD. I don'€™t even think I had a CD player.

Then maybe what'€™s coming up after this tour? I know you just started the US portion of it because I know you'€™ve been in Canada doing the tour as well.
Cam: Yeah it'€™s all part of the same tour. Now we'€™re just going up and down and up and down.
Pat: It gets blurry sometimes but I think we'€™re ending up at South By Southwest so we'€™re going to do that and in terms of immediate plans after that, we'€™re just planning on touring more. Like we literally don'€™t want to stop! We'€™re trying to hit up some festivals.
Cam: Trying to keep touring down here. I just did a circular motion if you can'€™t hear it.

Pat: If you can'€™t hear it on a digital recorder.
Cam: My hand gestures.
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